Well, well, well. It seems us skeptics were right once, again. The flawed thinking of lunatics enamored with large solar powered energy plants don’t really reduce much CO2 emissions.
But, the flawed thinking appears to be contagious. Read this article …..
Taxpayer-backed solar plant actually a carbon polluter
Even as the Obama administration announces another $120 million in grants to boost solar energy, new reports indicate a centerpiece of the administration’s green-energy effort is actually a carbon polluter.
Located in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, the $2.2 billion Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System benefited from a $1.6 billion Energy Department loan guarantee, and a $539 million Treasury Department stimulus grant to help pay off the loan.
Yet it is producing carbon emissions at nearly twice the amount that compels power plants and companies to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program.
That’s because the plant relies on natural gas as a supplementary fuel.
According to the Riverside Press-Enterprise, the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 to emit 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. But Ivanpah, while in the cap-and-trade program, is still considered a renewable energy source because it technically produces most its energy from solar.
Built by BrightSource Energy Inc. and operated by NRG Energy, the Ivanpah project has been mired in controversy from the start.
Taxpayer advocates object to the federal support. Environmentalists say it would hurt the endangered desert tortoise and lament that 3,500 birds were “fried” by the heat produced by the plant in its first year.
But the natural gas factor raises the fundamental question of whether this plant — and others — are undercutting their own green energy gains by emitting carbon pollution in the process, while not producing anywhere near the level of electricity of a regular power plant.
“This is a prime example of when good intentions go bad,” said H. Sterling Burnett, a research fellow at the Heartland Institute.
Solar and wind power plants typically require some form of supplemental fuel, to deal with weather changes.
Natural gas, used at several California operations, can be used during the evenings to help protect against overnight freezing and temperature changes that can hurt equipment.
Yet while natural gas is not as environmentally damaging as coal or oil, it is a fossil fuel generally not considered “green.”
Ivanpah’s original license allowed it to use millions of cubic feet of natural gas with the understanding the total would not exceed 5 percent of the energy the project gets from sunlight.
BrightSource originally estimated the plant’s main auxiliary boilers would use the gas for an average of an hour per day.
But in March 2014, they petitioned the California Energy Commission for permission to increase that to roughly 4.5 hours per day. In the petition, they cited a need to protect equipment and “maximize solar electricity generation.”
The company defended the plant operations.
“Less than 5 percent of electricity generated is attributed to natural gas, which … qualifies 100 percent of the plant generation as renewable,” NRG spokesman David Knox wrote in an email.
Michael Ward, information officer for the California Energy Commission which provided the emissions data, confirmed that Ivanpah indeed falls below the 5 percent mark.
But the 5 percent figure does not tell the whole story — as California does not account for emissions produced when a power plant is not generating electricity, according to Ward.
So the actual percentage of natural gas use could well be higher.
“If it were any other energy industry besides solar, the plant never would not have been built,” said David Lamfrom, director of California desert and national wildlife programs at the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA).
Lamfrom said that “political pressure pushed this project through without proper input from the taxpayers and without them being adequately informed of exactly what kind of project this was.”
He said officials “generated enough momentum to make this project happen in order to meet the [deadlines for] the stimulus funding.”
According to Lamfrom, designers also erred in placing Ivanpah between the tallest mountains in the Mojave where there is significant cloud cover and dust which would interfere with the sunlight.
Burnett noted that low sunlight only increases the use of natural gas: “You can make solar power as cheap as you want. If the sun is not shining, or it is cloudy or rainy, it will require natural gas to ramp up [the plant] quickly when solar power goes offline. They say it is green, but that assumes that there is a power source without any environmental impact.”
Before we go on to anything else, I must note, because there may be some brainless climatetard wandering by, that at this time of year, in the North Hemisphere, we have more hours of darkness than daylight. During the hours of darkness, the referenced plant and any other solar plant is generating exactly zero amounts energy. None, nothing, nade. So, it must be supplemented with other sources of energy. Given the 5% figure, then we can be assured the plant generates less than 50% of the needs of it’s customers. The majority of the energy provided to the customers is still mostly from so called fossil fuels. We can build 1000 more solar plants just like Ivanpah and the percentage won’t change one iota. This is something skeptics such as myself had stated over and over and over again.
I find it fascinating that “environmentalists” no longer care about endangered species.
The idiot writers for Fox apparently assume CO2 is environmentally damaging. It is not. There’s not one shred of empirical evidence to back that idiotic supposition. However, there is evidence CO2 is environmentally helpful, witness the greening of the earth.
The idiot writers for Fox reference “oil” in this article. Last I checked, oil was used for less than 1% of the US’ electric generation. It’s not now, nor will it be anytime in the near future an issue to even consider. Regardless, under current emission standards in the US, neither coal nor oil present any environmentally damaging emissions.
That the morons placed the plant between two mountains only demonstrates the idiocy of the lunatics and their advocacy. These are very, very stupid people we’re dealing with. Our government administrators actually gave these dumbasses over $1/2 billion dollars to plant a solar station between two mountains. Sounds about right.
On an aside, let’s consider the GHG emissions generated by creating this monstrosity ……. it never was about global warming, the belief that GHG’s actually raise the global temps. It’s about making energy more expensive to the people, and gaining more control over the people. Even the most simplest of people can see this.
Interesting trick, hide a gas peaker plant between the solar panels and call yourself a renewable energy maker. Helps selling electricity at a premium to warmunist brainwashing victims.
In addition to this, not sure if the gas plant is done in such way to optimize gas usage. One of the points of these gas backup solutions is that to be a backup solution they cannot optimize as much as a baseload gas plant.
“The need to make comparisons, with respect to gas plants, of:
Case A – The more efficient Combined Cycle plants (CCGT) operating alone, in other words without the presence of wind, versus;
Case B – The appropriate mix of gas plant type used to balance wind’s volatile output. This includes the need to introduce less efficient, but faster-reacting, Open Cycle Gas Turbine gas plants (OCGT) to mirror/shadow the wind production, especially as wind penetration increases.
Wondering if they use a CCGT plant?
About every sentence in that article is an insult to the Russians. Somebody seems to be fuming.
“Russia’s largely state-run media has spent little to no time covering global warming despite huge fires raging across Siberia. Instead of blaming the fires on warming, Russian news outlets tended to focus on “locals who routinely but carelessly burn off tall grasses every year, and the sometimes incompetent crews struggling to put the fires out.””
I must say I think the dailycaller writer is a complete idiot or a warmunist agitator. Siberia has enormous temperature differentials since forever being a continental climate. Even if Global Warming raised temperatures by 0.5 degrees C how should this affect the tundra. Which sees annual differentials of 80 deg C.
It seems to me that a little thawing of the tundra would equate into less fires, rather than more. It’s nearly impossible to burn wet ground.
Well this study is nailing another myth:
“According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.”
Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain
new calibration and adjustments coming in 3,2,1,….
Belligerent, destructive delusion, since Day 1.
Does anyone remember the solar power plant (IIRC it was in Europe. Maybe Spain?) that was being subsidized by given higher than usual payments for the power they produced? The people at the plant realized that they could buy diesel fuel and generators to produce power cheaper that the pay rate for solar, so they started burning diesel and sending the electricity out as being solar generated. It has been a few years but I think someone got suspicious when they noticed that the “solar” plant was selling power even after nightfall.
Oh! And as for siting a solar plant between two mountains, I have seen multiple locations (military bases, interstate call boxes, bus stops) where small solar installations are almost completely shadowed by trees or buildings. Even if the line of sight to the Sun’s path is only open towards the east for a few hours in the morning, the panels will always — always! — be pointing due south and tilted at the local latitude. “Hey! The installation paperwork says ‘point it south at this angle’! Where does judgement come into play, huh?”
For those who don’t know: about 10 to 16 panels are wired in series in a “string”. Each one outputs 50V so the string produces ca 700V, which is optimal for the inverter.
As soon as even ONE of the panels in the string is shadowed the voltage breaks down and output power (voltage times current) drops severely.
Jason, I remember, but, I don’t have any links on hand for it.
There is one solar plant that can produce “in the dark” based on heated molten salts, but it is losing money.
I think the diesel trick was a common issue with several solar producers in Spain, I remember it too.
Solar-thermal plants have the principal disadvantage that they try to first convert directed energy – sunlight – into undirected energy – heat – and that back to directed energy – Carnaugh cycle – which becomes more efficient with higher termperature differential. Difficult to make that efficient as materials get more expensive with higher heat resistance.
The German projects for North Africa – Desertec – all got canceled – not through political instability, which was tolerable at the time, but because since 2008 photovoltaics began to undercut the expected price of solar-thermal electricity.
Desertec BTW was a brainchild of the Club Of Rome. Desertec and Club Of Rome Germany had offices in the same house in Hamburg while I worked there, 2009-2010. It was about the time Desertec died.
Does anyone remember the solar power plant (IIRC it was in Europe. Maybe Spain?) that was being subsidized by given higher than usual payments for the power they produced?
Jason, what was finally figured out is that they were running diesel generators, to power arc lights, to shine on the solar panels…..which wasn’t very smart…..if they had just used diesel during the day..no one would have noticed…but by running 24/7 they made a killing
google: solar panels spain night arc…….or something like that, you should find it
It was probably beyond their pay grade to rig the wiring of the inverters and meters.
Ouch! Latitude, that’s even worse than I remembered it. LOL, but a very sad LOL. Turning diesel into heat into motion into electricity into heat (and light) into electricity (and heat) and then selling the electricity. The crazy thing is that by distorting the market value of electricity, the people who were doing the long series of wasteful energy transformations were being paid more than other people who made more prudent use of fossil fuels.